Many would like to start an aquarium, but one fact stops them – it needs to be looked after! In fact, everything is not so scary.
If it’s possible to balance the components of the biosystem, “general cleaning” will not be needed for years. Therefore, maintenance work will be minimized.
One of the simple, but necessary procedures is bottom maintenance. It is important to know how to clean the soil in the aquarium.
Preparation Of New Soil
In most cases, rinse off aquarium soil purchased from a pet store. The pebbles collected by themselves are thoroughly washed (the water should become transparent), and then boiled to surely get rid of infection and parasites.
At the bottom, the soil is laid out with a fairly wide layer, 3-8 centimeters. This will allow the plants to take root. It is advisable to provide a slight slope towards the front glass of the aquarium. So it will be easier to remove debris from the bottom with a siphon.
Of course, the soil will not remain as clean as on the day the aquarium was launched. Food, waste products of fish and snails, dead plant leaves fall to the bottom. This forms sludge, which serves as a natural fertilizer.
But too contaminated soil absorbs oxygen, and in return produces a toxic substance – hydrogen sulfite. Therefore, it is necessary to arrange a cleaning procedure from time to time.
There is no definite answer to the question of how often to clean the soil in the aquarium. It all depends on the size of the reservoir, the number of inhabitants and plants. It is advised to do this at least twice a month, maximum once a week.
How To Clean The Soil
For a simple procedure, you need a siphon. This is a plastic tube, at one end, which is lowered into the water, a funnel with a protective mesh, at the other – a pear. It works on the principle of a pump, a funnel is drawn along the bottom, while squeezing a pear with a hand. Water with organic matter is poured through the tube into a separate container.
There are also battery-powered siphons on sale, such “vacuum cleaners” for soil are more expensive, but even the simplest model does an excellent job. By the way, the pump can be made with your own hands. It is recommended to choose a device in a store according to the length of the hose and its diameter, the larger it is, the stronger the pressure will be.
Of course, you can pump water from a small 20-liter aquarium with a large siphon in a matter of minutes, without having time to clean the bottom. So the size is important to consider.
When cleaning the soil, getting too carried away and pumping out all the water is not worth it, 20% is enough. So it will be possible to combine two mandatory procedures: get rid of dirt from the bottom and carry out a partial water change.
It is difficult to siphon the soil only in one case. If the bottom is densely planted with stunted plants that form a thick carpet, as is often the case in shrimp farms. Areas with plantings need to be cleaned very carefully, and areas with open ground already more thoroughly.
That’s probably all. The simplest procedure will take no more than 10 minutes, but the aquarium will always be neat and tidy.
General cleaning of the aquarium is accompanied by a complete restart, and for the fish it is always stressful. Therefore, professional aquarists are never in a hurry to completely remove all the contents, including the soil, they do this no more than once every 1-2 years. In principle, if you do not forget about regular cleaning, as described above, such drastic measures will not be needed.
A complete soil clean-up can make sense in two cases: when there is a desire to redesign the underwater landscape or it is necessary to get rid of any problem, for example, an infection. Then the soil is removed, thoroughly washed, boiled and only after that it is again poured into a previously washed aquarium.
Why Does The Soil Turn Green And What To Do
This common problem is especially noticeable on light soil, and the walls of the aquarium are also covered with bloom.
All because of the simplest algae, which stain water and objects green. The reasons for their appearance:
- Excessive lighting. Do not place the aquarium near the window, in direct sunlight. The light regime must not be violated, the lamp must not be turned on for more than 10 hours a day.
- Fish are overfed, excess food rots at the bottom.
- They forget to clean the soil; decay processes are activated in its surface.
- Filtration and aeration of water is ineffective or nonexistent.
The main problem is incorrect lighting, all accompanying factors only exacerbate it.
To remedy the situation, it is necessary to adjust the light regime and pay attention to the care of the aquarium: feed the fish in small portions, periodically siphon the bottom, removing dirt, buy a sufficiently powerful filter and provide air supply.